Trying to sound informed at your World Cup watching party? Whether you’re a seasoned soccer (or should I say fútbol?) player or complete newcomer, there are a few things you really just need to know before heading off to that World Cup themed barbecue. After reading, test your knowledge with our World Cup flashcard deck.
1) The 19 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams.
2) Brazil has won five times, and it is the only team to have played in all 20 World Cups.
Brazil won its 5th World Cup in 2002. Source: The Guardian
3) Team USA has appeared in 9 World Cups (out of 20), and the best finish was at the very first tournament in 1930, when they placed third.
4) Seven members of the US team grew up abroad: five in Germany, one in Norway and one in Iceland.
The locker room for the US Men’s National Team. Source: USsoccer.com
5) A Goldman Sachs study found that on average, the victor nation’s stock market outperforms the global market by 3.5% in the month after their World Cup victory.
6) The cost of hosting the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is about $7 billion higher than the cost for South Africa in 2010.
7) The quickest goal ever scored in a World Cup game was in 2002 – by Turkish player Hakan Sukur, who scored just 11 seconds after the start of the game.
Hakan Sukur in action during a Turkey vs. Sweden Match. Source: Getty Images
8) About 3.2 billion people around the world (roughly 46% of the global population) watched at least a minute of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa on TV in their homes, according to a report produced for FIFA by the British firm KantarSport.
9) This will be the first World Cup to use “Goal-line Technology” to (hopefully) eliminate the controversy that has surrounded many World Cup goals in the past.
10) Germany was dissatisfied with the accommodations provided so they built their own World Cup hotel and training camp in Brazil